It takes a strong, dedicated and hardworking person to join the military. With the skills required to serve our country, it’s no wonder so many people head into the business world after they’ve reached veteran status. When veterans apply their knowledge from military training to the business world, they can become unstoppable business owners.

However, regardless of your past experience, starting a business isn’t easy. Luckily for individuals who have served in the military, there are a number of skills, practices and ideas they can translate into the business world.

If you’re a veteran looking to start a business, here are a few tips and tools to help you succeed.

  1. Build From Your Passions

When you’re starting a business, you need to give it your all. If you’re not fully invested in the business you’re creating, you’re going to struggle to succeed. You need to be passionately interested in the industry you’re entering if you want to wake up every day excited to go to work.

Start your business based on something you truly care about. This may be directly related to your experience in the military, or it may be something completely different. When you’re truly interested in your industry and the area you’re serving, you’ll give your business your all and it will truly take off.

  1. Know What the World Needs

As a veteran, you’ve seen a unique view of the world that most people don’t get a chance to experience. While your business doesn’t necessarily need to focus on solving a problem directly related to your military experience, you can still look at what you can do to make the world a better place.

Understand what problem you want to solve and how you can solve that problem differently than what is already out there. When you know what the world needs, you can provide individuals in your community, region or all over the world the resources they need to live a happier or more fulfilled life.

  1. Get Advice

Every entrepreneur needs a mentor or guide to help them through the difficult decisions, changes and processes that come with owning a business. There are dozens of resources available to help you connect with other military personnel who have been in your shoes before.

Often times, current veteran business owners are willing to support and mentor veterans aspiring to launch their own venture. If you don’t personally know someone who has started a business, reach out to a program like your local Small Business Association office. An organization like this can help you find the connections you need to help you navigate the business world. However, keep in mind that you can find advice in just about anyone. Don’t limit your mentorship to only those who have been exactly where you are now.

  1. Understand Your Resources

Because you are a veteran, you have a number of additional options available to you as far as tools and resources. To help you succeed as a business owner, you can apply for loans, programs and training specific to veterans in the business world.

If you’re in need of assistance, guidance or any other kind of help, don’t hesitate to reach out to the appropriate party. Canada is dedicated to helping veterans succeed in the business world and offering new jobs and support to the community, so it will not hesitate to help you in any way possible.

  1. Get Involved in Your Community

Serving in the military means you’re protecting your people back home, so if you’re going to own a business you should be an active member of your community. While supporting your neighborhood is important for any business owner, as a veteran, your community will want to help you succeed.

Whether you get involved by volunteering or you host an event for your entire community to participate in, make sure the people around you know and understand your business. When they feel like you’re trying to give back to them, they will give back to you and help your business succeed.

If you’re looking to start a business, understand that it probably isn’t going to be easy. However, if you’re a veteran, you’re no stranger to hard work. Because of this attitude, determination and commitment to following through on the things you begin, you have what it takes to be a successful business owner.

Keep these five tips and tools in mind when you’re creating your business. As you begin to navigate the corporate world and get a better feel for what is needed, think about how these tips and tools can apply to your changing needs. When you’re always thinking ahead, you can get in front of your competition and create a more successful and sustainable business.

Written by: Sarah Landrum, Punched Clocks, Guest Blogger